1171 Burrard Street
On yesterday post, I made reference to “meat on a stick” and where pretty much all cultures have their own version. For today’s post, I went to another food cart that serves exactly that, Satay King. (The first food cart selling meat-on-a-stick being Chinese Skewer King) Of course, that brings the question… From what part of the world? In the case of Satay King, from Indonesia (or was it Malaysia? I got those mixed up when talking to them!). Since I was in CSK before, I think we can do some straight head to head comparison here!
Located in Burrad and Davie, in its own ways, it can also be considered prime. The “good” point is that it has the Davie Community Garden right next to it, which allows some space for you to eat after getting their goods. Alas, compared to Kimono Koi Crepes, food traffic might not be as predominant. But, still, I am sure people will do whatever it is necessary to get there, as long as food is good!
When I arrived around noon, they just set up shop and there weren’t any line yet. Still, there was some grilling action already! After a quick conversation, I wanted to test waters on one detail that Buddha Boy and Buddha Girl mentioned in their post of Satay King: While not listed in the menu, if ordering a meal, they would sell an additional skewer for $1 less. I inquired about if how much would be for a second skewer, the answer wasn’t really straight. But, in the end, I was told he will sell the second skewer for $1 less of the $4.50 regular price. Because of this, I went for their Satay Meal plus a skewer.
It might be an overstatement to say I prefer pork over other forms of meats and this won’t be an exception. So, for the first skewer, I ended up going for the pork version. Not sure if it was good or bad but, on that day, that was the last pork skewer! C’mon, you just started and already running out? :S But, since I got the last one, I am not necessarily complaining! For my second skewer, I could have gone for the over-size, extra plum chicken skewer but, instead, I went for their Lebanese chicken shawarma satay. While it wasn’t as plump looking as the regular chicken one, from a condiment perspective, it actually looked better!
The meal is served with brown rice (there is an option for regular white as well) and small salad. Depending on how you like yours, I found the brown rice to be a bit stickier than usual and not enough “nuttiness”. Now, this is because I am picky about my brown rice; for people who are used to regular white rice with a slight stickiness, this will suit them fine. As for the salad, let’s admit it – it was token at best. In this case, some iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato then some dressing on top. I won’t bash it hard because, well, it is a plain salad, for god’s sake!
Moving to the skewers, needless to say they are larger than CSK’s; however, in a direct size/price ratio, they might be about the same, though Satay King might be slightly larger. Condiment-wise, though the CSK one were more spiced, in CSK’s case, you could taste the cumin. In the case of Satay King, I thought the sauces [tahini (I thought I was told that but not 100% sure - it wasn't "nutty" enough) on the shawarma one and peanut sauce on the pork one] failed to deliver. I mean, it provided something but, unless I tried hard, it didn’t contribute much. However, one thing where Satay King definitely beast CSK is the done-ness of the meat. Now, this is not in a bad way; rather, because the meat morsels are larger, it provides a different texture. So, it is good in its own ways.
Even then, I do find that Satay King has one odd point: that of the price: At $4.50 per skewer, it might fall slightly above a threshold of street food; however, by making it a meal, it suddenly makes it more palatable. But, similar to a lot of restaurants, the more you add, the more expensive it ends up, by adding a second skewer, it is suddenly $10, an amount you might as well spend in a sit down or some other places. So, in the end, to me, it is good; however, because it crossed that threshold, it ends up somewhere in the middle.